New Sovietskiy Pantera class Fast Attack Interceptor Submarine:

While not always successful, the Soviet Union has always been known to do things their own way. At first upon the reformation of the Soviet Union, priority within the Soviet navy was to replace the backbone of their fleet. This meant that most of the initial warship classes were relatively conventional in design. After this backbone entered service however, the Soviet military looked at developing more experimental designs however.

One of these more unusual designs was the Pantera class fast attack submarine. It could be compared with the Twentieth Century Soviet Alfa / Lira class submarine. As with the long decommissioned Alfa class, the Pantera class was designed as a high speed interceptor submarine. It was smaller than the nuclear submarine designs of most navies and was designed to be very maneuverable and extremely fast.

Developed around thirty years after the Drakon class, the first of the Pantera class was laid down in 2063 and was commissioned in 2067. The second was not laid down until 2065 with production continuing at the rate of about one submarine per year. The Pantera class interceptor submarine is considered contemporary with the Krokodil class submersible troop transport.

In addition, production on the larger Drakon class fast attack submarine was continued during the production of the smaller submarines. However, the Iskra class submarine soon however replaced the Drakon class in service. The Pantera class submarine was produced in only small numbers with a total of eleven of the class of interceptor submarines being completed. In effect, the Iskra class submarine replaced the Pantera class in production as well.

One of the reasons why the Pantera was cut at only eleven vessels was due to the cost of the submarine even with its capabilities. It is estimated that a Pantera class submarine cost about two-thirds of a Drakon class submarine to build and cost about the same to operate yet only has about half the general capabilities. While the Pantera class submarine was extremely fast, the new Iskra class submarine was almost as fast and far heavier armed.

Still, the entire class was retained in service until the coming of the Great Cataclysm and the submarines were considered valuable by the Soviet navy leadership. These vessels broke many records including being the deepest diving and fastest combat submarines. New Navy records show that several of these submarines were destroyed during the cataclysm but two of the class were able to make it to the secret Soviet base under Antarctica. The status of several Pantera class submarines is unknown and it is possible that one or more could be recovered.

In comparison to the old Soviet Alfa class submarines, the hull of the Pantera class submarine is even stronger due to the use of high strength composites and alloys. These material are far stronger than titanium and allow the Pantera to dive to incredible depths. The officially listed maximum depth of the Pantera is listed as 4,500 meters and these submarines could dive deeper than any other American, British, or Soviet combat submarines. Teardrop shaped, the hull of the Pantera class submarine looked surprisingly similar to the old Alfa class submarine.

Power is provided by a pair of powerful but compact fusion reactors with the submarine having a maximum speed of over 48 knots underwater. Even though the speed of submarines had increased substantially, the Pantera class submarine was the fastest combat submarine in service up to the coming of the Great Cataclysm. It was a fair amount faster than any American or British fast attack submarines.

While the old Alfa class was considered a quite noisy submarine design, the Pantera class was developed to be far quieter. Still, it is far noisier than larger submarines due to not having the space to mask the noise of the engines. Measures to further reduce the noise signature of the Pantera class include using a single pump jet instead of a propellor and using anechoic tiles in order to absorb sound.

The sonar systems carried aboard the Drakon class submarine were also fitted to other classes. However, they were considered too large to be fitted to the Pantera class. As a result, new systems had to be developed for the smaller submarine although they were largely based on those fitted to the larger submarines. Due to their smaller size, these systems do have reduced range.

As with the sonar systems, the weapon suite on the Pantera class had to be reduced as compared to the previous Drakon class fast attack submarine. While the large 650 mm torpedo tubes were retained, the number of torpedo tubes had to be reduced from eight torpedo tubes to four torpedo tubes. Total torpedoes carried for the bow tubes was normally twenty-four.

During the development, there was debate between carry eight cruise missiles or twelve long range missiles. Eventually it was decided that twelve long range missiles would be carried instead of carrying cruise missiles as the Drakon class carried. While the warhead is smaller, the long range missiles have a similar range to cruise missiles and is capable against aircraft as well against ground targets. They are mounted on either side of the sail of the submarine.

As far as self defense anti-torpedo weaponry, the Pantera class mounted a single “killer dart” torpedo interceptor is mounted under the bow of the submarine in a retractable mount. In addition, a short range missile system was mounted for use against aircraft and missiles in the sail of the submarine. Generally, the Soviet navy preferred far more active defenses against incoming threats than the United States navy.

With regard to crew, the Pantera class only had a slightly smaller crew than the larger Drakon class. As with the Drakon class, the entire crew is composed of officers. Soviet education was not considered up to Western standards and the training required to operate these submarines would have require a large percentage of the short term enlistment of enlisted personnel. Still, the submarine has a large amount of automation to be able to be run by such a small crew. Crew compartments are far smaller than the Drakon class and the endurance is cut quite a bit as well. Even so, Pantera class is far safer than the old Soviet Alfa class which it is often compared to.

Author Note: With respect to time line, these designs may or may not reflect our modern time line. The time line of these writeups diverged from our time line starting around 1999. Consider the universe that these designs are created for to be an alternate universe not bound by ours.

Model Type: Pantera class Fast Attack / Interceptor Submarine.

Class: Ocean, Fast Attack Submarine.

Crew: 42; All Officers (Has a high degree of automation).

Troop Capacity: None.

M.D.C. by Location:


25.6 inches (650 mm) Super Heavy Torpedo Tubes (4, front of submarine):

150 each.


Vertical Long Range Missile Launchers (12, sides of sail):

100 each.


Short Range Missile Launcher (1, sail):



Killer Dart “Interceptor” Torpedo Launcher (1, under bow):



Towed Array Sonar Housing (aft):



Main Sail:



[1] Bow Planes (2):

200 each.


[2] Pump Jet Propulsor (1):



[3] Main Body:



[1] Destroying the submarine’s bow planes will reduce the submarine’s ability to change depths but will not eliminate it. It also makes it difficult for the submarine’s crew to control the submarine giving a penalty of -25% to all underwater piloting rolls.

[2] Destroying the submarine’s pump jet propulsor causes serious problems. The submarine will no longer be able to use forward momentum and the bow planes to keep the submarine level. It is recommended that ballast tanks are immediately blown so submarine comes to the surface.

[3] Depleting the M.D.C. of the main body destroys the submarine’s structural integrity, causing it to sink. If the submarine is underwater, the entire crew will die unless protected by environmental armors that can withstand the pressure that the submarine is under. If on the surface, there are enough flotation devices and inflatable life rafts to accommodate everyone aboard.


Surface: 18.4 mph (16 knots/ 29.7 kph).

Underwater: 55.9 mph (48.5 knots /89.9 mph).

Maximum Depth: 14,763.0 feet (2.8 miles / 4,500 meters).

Range: Effectively unlimited due to fusion engines (needs to refuel every 20 years and requires maintenance as well). Boat carries 2 months of supplies on board.

Statistical Data:

Height:  46.6 feet (14.2 meters) not including periscopes and antenna.

Width:   32.2 feet (9.8 meters).

Length:  267.4 feet (81.5 meters).

Displacement: 2,420 tons standard and 4,040 tons submerged.

Cargo: Submarine is very cramped, 4 tons (3.6 metric tons) of nonessential equipment and supplies. Each junior officer has a small locker for personal items and uniforms. Senior boat’s officers have more space for personal items. Most of the boat’s spaces are taken up by extra torpedoes, weapons, and engines.

Power System: Nuclear fusion; average energy life of 20 years. Normally refuels every 10 years.

Black Market Price: Not for sale; many nations and organizations would pay hundreds of millions of credits for a new and undamaged Pantera class fast attack submarine.

Weapon Systems:

  1. Four (4) 650 mm Super Heavy Torpedo Tubes: On the bow of the submarine are four torpedo tubes. Located above the bow sonar array, these tubes are 25.6 inches (650 mm) wide and torpedoes can be used against both surface boats and submarines. Along with standard torpedoes, torpedo tubes can also fire missiles (long range or cruise missiles) in special canisters, rocket boosted anti-submarine (ASW) torpedoes, and mines. These are modern, variable option torpedoes that are about 25% faster than the latest US torpedo designs of the time period. Submarine carries twenty-four reloads for torpedoes. Soviet submarines normally carry a number of interceptor torpedoes which the standard Soviet tactic is to fire an interceptor torpedo down the path of a torpedo fired at the submarine.

    Maximum Effective Range: 40 miles (34.8 nautical miles / 64 km) to 60 miles (52.1 nautical miles / 96.6 km), depending on torpedo type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Mega-Damage: By heavy torpedo or super heavy torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details), can theoretically fire missiles (long range or cruise missiles) in special canisters as well (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire torpedoes one at a time or in volleys of two (2), three (3), or four (4) torpedoes. Reloading takes one full melee round.

    Payload: Four (4) torpedoes total [Has twenty-four (24) additional torpedoes and missiles for reloads with six (6) “Interceptor” torpedoes normally carried.]

  2. Twelve (12) Vertical Launch Long Range Missile Launchers: On the sides of the submarine are twelve long range missile launchers that launch upwards. These launchers are mounted outside of the submarines pressure hull so they do not reduce internal volume. Missiles are launched in special canisters that enable the missiles to be used in depths down to around 150 feet (45.7 meters.) Most missiles normally carried are fusion warhead with smart missile guidance. Launchers can fire at multiple targets simultaneously and are designed to be used against surface boats and against land targets.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: As per long range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire long range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2), four (4), or six (6) long range missiles and can be fired at multiple targets at the same time.

    Payload: One (1) long range missile per launcher for twelve (12) long range missiles total. Submarine carries no reloads.

  3. One (1) Sail Mounted Short Range Missile Launcher: The submarine has a retractable short range missile launcher on the sail for defense against aircraft although is effective against incoming missiles as well. Launcher can be used while the submarine is up to 80 feet (24 meters) deep and is useful against aircraft hunting the submarine while the submarine is underwater. Short Range Missiles are usually a mixture of 50% Armor Piercing and 50% Plasma. Launchers can lock onto multiple targets at the same. The systems missile launchers can target up four targets simultaneously and can fire a volley up to twice per melee.

    Maximum Effective Range: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Mega-Damage: As per short range missile type (See revised bomb and missile tables for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Can fire short range missiles one at a time or in volleys of two (2) or four (4) short range missiles and can be fired up to two (2) times per melee round.

    Payload: Sixty-four (64) short range missiles.

  4. One (1) Killer Dart “Interceptor” Short Range Torpedo Launcher (1): The launcher is mounted under the bow of the submarine. These so called “Killer Darts” are a Russian interceptor torpedo, designed primarily for intercepting and hitting incoming torpedoes, with a secondary function against small submersibles and submersible power armors. They are mounted outside of the submarines pressure hull in retractable mounts. The launchers can only be reloaded in port. American and European designed prefer to fire interceptor torpedoes exclusively from their standard torpedo tubes. Launcher is primarily designed to intercept incoming torpedoes but can be used against other vessels, against large submarines, and against underwater troops. Other torpedoes can be used but are very rarely used.

    Maximum Effective Range: 2,000 feet (609.6 meters) using interceptor torpedoes, other torpedoes use standard rules (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Mega-Damage: By light torpedo warhead type (See revised Rifts torpedoes for details.)

    Rate of Fire: Each launcher can fire salvos of up to eight (8) light interceptor torpedoes per melee round.

    Payload: Forty-eight (48) interceptor torpedoes total.

  5. Noisemakers: The submarine carries noisemakers in order to decoy torpedoes. They are most effective against normal torpedoes and less effective against “smart” torpedoes. Considered in many ways to be the last line of defense against incoming torpedoes and similar systems are carried on most submarines. The noisemakers are launched from the middle of the submarine.

    Effects: 50% of decoying normal torpedoes and 20% of decoying smart torpedoes.

    Rate of Fire: Two (2) noisemakers at a time (Can be reloaded in one melee round).

    Payload: Twenty (20) noisemakers.

Special Systems:

The submarine has all systems standard on a robot vehicle plus the following special features:

[ Altarain TM, Bandito Arms TM, Brodkil TM, Chipwell Armaments TM, Coalition States TM, Cyber-Knight TM, Federation of Magic TM, Free Quebec TM, Golden Age Weaponsmiths TM, Horune TM, Iron Heart Armaments TM, Kankoran TM, Kittani TM, Kydian TM, Larsen’s Brigade TM, M.D.C. TM, Mechanoids TM, Mega-Damage TM, Megaversal Legion TM, Millennium Tree TM, Mutants in Orbit TM, Naruni Enterprises TM, Naut’Yll, New Navy TM, New Sovietskiy TM, NGR TM, Nog Heng TM, Northern Gun TM, Phase World TM, Psyscape TM, Rifter TM, SAMAS TM, S.D.C. TM, Shemarrian TM, Splugorth TM, Stormspire TM, Sunaj TM, Tolkeen TM, Triax TM, Wellington Industries TM, Wilk’s Laser Technologies TM, Xiticix TM, and Zaayr TM are trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

[ Beyond the Supernatural®, Heroes Unlimited®, Nightbane®, Ninjas & Superspies®, Palladium Fantasy®, and Rifts® are registered trademarks owned by Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books Inc. ]

Vessel drawing is created and copyrighted by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Initial Concepts by Marina O'Leary ( ).

Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

Copyright © 2002, 2003, & 2017, Kitsune. All rights reserved.